Why Every Child Should Study Martial Arts……

You have seen it a million times, on TV, Movies, Plays, in your neighborhood….at Halloween. A cute little kid all decked out in his karate uniform, white belt tied around his waist, punching, kicking and jumping in the air at some invisible person with a big smile on their face.

It reinforces just how popular martial arts are. In fact martial arts can now be seen on television weekly in the form of Mixed Martial Arts Competition, and even the addition of Karate to the Olympics in 2020.

All this popularity begs the question. Why should anyone, especially a child study martial arts?

Here are 5 reasons that help to answer that question:

  1. “There is no confidence, like self defense confidence” Knowing how to defend yourself not just physically, but verbally is an essential skill for children. Especially, with 1 in 4 children being bullied in America, and an estimated 160,000 kids that skip school to avoid being bullied every single day in the United States. Kids who know how to defend themselves are much more likely to stand up for themselves, and much less likely to be targeted by bullies.
  2. “No One Sits on the Bench at the Dojo” Martial Arts is unique in the sense that kids are a part of a group, but they still get to progress at their own rate. The stress and demands to preform and deliver for a team is eliminated. A child is free to make mistakes, and to learn from them without being singled out. Also, they get to play every “down”, with no time spent on the bench watching everyone else play.
  3. “Chivalry is Not Dead” Manners, Self-Respect, and Respect for others may seem like a lost art with children, and adults these days. That is not the case on the mats at the dojo. There is an emphasis on self-respect, they way you are dressed, how you keep your uniform and yourself clean, how you present yourself at the dojo, the respect you show others in your words, and in your actions towards them. Yes Sir, Yes Mam, Please, and Thank You, are all alive and well in the hearts, minds, and voices of children taking martial arts.
  4. “There are no Keyboards at the Dojo” Children are ever increasingly talking to each other from behind screens. From texting, to FaceTime, to Snapchat, to tweets, the list goes on and on. Martial Arts Classes are a great place for face to face interaction. For children to work together directly. To learn the art of communication, to see face to face how to work with another person.
  5. “It Takes a Village” Parenting is every bit as difficult now as it ever was. Raising Happy, Safe, Respectful, Helpful, Leaders of tomorrow is too much for even the best parents to do alone. Family, Friends, Teachers, Mentors, and Martial Arts instructors are vital in helping reinforce the values that you are instilling at home. A Martial Arts Teacher or “Sensei” influences not just the way students defend themselves, but he or she is imparting lessons on self-confidence, leadership, kindness, and motivation every single class.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg about why martial arts for children is an amazing resource, about why every child should learn these lesson, but all these words don’t mean much until you see it in action.

We urge you to take your child to a class, but not just any class. Find a Facility that is clean, and instructor that is knowledgeable, that is a Blackbelt of Skill and Character. Someone who you trust to teach your child more than just how to fight, but how to live.

Joshua Page,




“Sensei Does 25”


We play  a game at the end of class with this big red cube. It has exercises and challenges for the students on each side, except one……one said is for the Teacher. It boldly states Teacher does 25. 

Our students love it, they love to see the Teachers drop down and give 25 pushups. Its a great chance for the Teacher/Sensei/Professor/Coach to lead by example, to humble themselves, and remind themselves and their students that Blackbelt is a Verb, and not a Noun. That it is a state of action, not a state of stagnation.

I have seen this cube at a few martial arts schools, and even saw a few with the Teacher Does 25 taped over…….It breaks my heart as an instructor, a student, and as someone who loves martial arts.

Teacher does 25 is a mindset, and a culture that is sorely needed in the martial arts community, in our communities, and our country. 

Leadership is defined by action, by holding to not just the same standard you hold those you lead to, but exceeding that expectation, in the hopes that those you lead might do the same.

What opportunities for growth and leadership have you “taped over”?

My challenge to you is to rip that tape of today, that sting is much less than that of keeping it on.

Joshua Page,



  No greater friend, no worse enemy.

The currency of our lives, slipping uncontrollably out of our hands.

It drags, it flies, but always marching ever forward.

Take a moment to breath, to appreciate, to fully be a part of the time slipping by us all.

Be connected to the people and things you love and enjoy. 

Share your love, share your smile, share your time…..none of them are infinite…..but somehow together we can make them last forever.

-Joshua Page


Reaching your Dreams

Your dreams are only in reach while you are awake.

Rise from your Dreams to rise up to the challenges and opportunities that will make them a reality.

Take the step most won’t. We all dream, but most of us won’t take that first step towards our dreams and desires.

Do not rise gently, but with purpose, with intent and clarity, and when that seems impossible, simply rise and put your head down into a run, or exercise, or anything difficult until it does.

Finally and most importantly smile. Smile and enjoy the ride……you are one of the few awake people, living their dreams.

Joshua Page,


Too. cheap to afford……

A friend of mine shared a though worth repeating. “Cheap is expensive! The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetnes of a low price is Forgotten.”

So often in our high speed world we seek faster, cheaper, and more convenient. Why pay for the movie/music when I can just download it for free? Why ask an expert, I can just YouTube it myself. Why pay the extra money for a little better quality fabric, or buy from a manufacture that operates in this country?

Too often we forget we are not paying for just the materials, we are paying for the quality, for the experience, for the craftsmanship that is behind a quality service, or good. We are paying for the service, for the care, and for the quality that we expect.

Saving short term, means just that. You will always end up paying more in the long run. When it comes to quality, to buying things that matter, that make a difference in the quality of your life……Spend now, save later!

Joshua Page,

Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

Enjoy the Moment….

Life seems to have a tendency to go faster and faster. To speed up as we grow up. To fly by us, without letting us grab a firm hold on exactly how much of our life has speed past our grasp. 

When those few still moments float by, when those magical minutes arrive, grab them. Hold onto them, live every second of them. Those few seconds my very well be the brightest, warmest, and most real of this ever swirling life.

-Joshua Page,



Waiting for Change…….

Everyone wants to make a change in some part of their life. Maybe it’s income, body weight, fitness level, education…the list goes on and on, but everyone wants to make some kind of positive change.

What separates the successful, and those who are struggling, despairing, and complaining is many of us are simply waiting.

Waiting for the right time, the right conditions, for the next holiday to be over, until after the next Birthday, until work slows down, the kids are in school…..again, the list goes on and on.

The truth is there are no right conditions, there is no favorable time, there will always be another holiday, birthday, time constraint…….excuse to keep you waiting.

The good news is that the healthy you, the happy you, the successful you, the you that you dream about and more is out there waiting…….for you to come along and uncover it.

To uncover it a piece at a time through diligent and daily efforts. Through hard work, and dedication, and most of all through staying the course.

We think of change happening in an instant. Maybe it is the age we live in, where everything happens at the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. In an age of before and after pictures, we never get to see all the in between pictures. Never get to see the struggles, and the time it takes to get to after.

Remember, until we get started….we are just stuck on “before”, and that is no way for you, me, or anyone to live our lives.

Get up, get out, and start moving. Start living……and stop waiting for change.

-Joshua Page

Hickory Academy of Martial Arts



Self Worth = Net Worth

"Priorities" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.I had a young man I am mentoring tell me “I just don’t feel like, I am as far along as I wanted to be at my age.”. Maybe you can relate to this, in some part of your life, finances, relationships, athletics…..somewhere, sometime you have probably had the same thought.

So what can we do to help us get further along our path of success? Here is the advice I am passing onto this young person:

Your Self Worth = Your Net Worth

We can get to all the places we wan to go in life, achieve all the success we are seeking, enjoy all life has to offer us…..in direct relation to how we are able to help others do the same.

Your ability to add value, joy, and achievement into the lives of others will make it possible for you to live your best life. 

What is the first step in doing that?

The first step in improving you “net worth” is improving your “self worth”. Self Worth for the purpose of this concept simply means the skills, knowledge, attributes and positive behaviors that you are developing within yourself. For instance if you were a martial arts instructor that was over weight, out of practice, and out of touch with modern training techniques, then you will have a hard time developing students into champions.

You have to first develop yourself, before you can develop others. You have to make yourself more “valuable”, before you can effectively motivate, inspire, and lead others. 

Knowing this however is just the beginning, you have to put it into practice in your daily lives. Self improvement has to be a daily routine like brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, etc. We need to make it an essential part of our day to day lives, so much so that it becomes a part of who we are. Of course it will not be easy at first, but that is the cost of real positive, permanent change. That is the cost of success.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Wake up earlier! Sleep is good and necessary, but enough is enough! Get up out of bed….early, before you are comfortable, and when you do, use that time to get a jump start on self improvement. Get to the gym, get outside and run, get in the kitchen and prepare a good and healthy meal instead of stopping for fast food as you are running late.

Early morning can be that special time of the day to get ready, to reflect, to prepare, to practice, to spend time making a better you……or it can be time to drool on your pillow, and dream about the person you are not becoming! 

Read! Find a book on a subject that you want to improve in, or about a skill you want to acquire, or about someone who is in the top of your desired field. Find a book to inspire you, to motivate you, and to educate you. 

Take Notes! When you find that book, and you read it daily for at least 30 minutes (which is easy when you get up early) make sure you take notes on it. Review your notes each morning before you read again. Highlight things that are important to you and memorize them. 

Write down your goals! Write down your goals, give them deadlines, make them detailed, and review them with a mentor or someone who will hold you accountable to what you said you were going to do. Extra Credit: Write those goals on note cards with a motivational phrase on one side, and read them to yourself three times a day!

Eat! Not for taste but for health, improve the quality of your nutrition. Your body turns what goes in your mouth into new cells. We really are, what we eat.

Exercise Early and Often: Now that we are waking up earlier…this is easy. Run, Lift, Stretch, Kick….find what works for you and engage in it regularly. Exercise not only makes our body healthy but it improve the health of our mind, producing chemicals that help us avoid depression, illness, and injury.

Practice: If your a baker…bake…if your a swimmer….swim. Spend time refining your skills, and improving the areas you are deficient in. Be prepared to invest real time in those areas, not a few weeks, or month, but be prepared to dedicate years to your weaknesses. 

Be Renewed: Get inspired and refreshed every single day. Find a motivational speaker, find a quote that gets you back on track, read an inspirational scripture…..be inspired, be refreshed, be renewed every day. Only those who are truly inspired can motivate those around them. 

These aren’t all the tools you will need, but they are enough to get you started, and enough to get towards our final piece of advice: Make your own path. There is no set in stone path to success, no one way that works for everybody. We all came into the world the same way, and we will all exit this world the same as well. Make the journey your, and make the most out of it! 

Net Worth is all about Self Worth……and Self Worth is all about You!

-Joshua Page

Owner/Head Instructor Hickory Academy of Martial Arts




Bigger….or Better

Bigger seems to equal better in today’s world. Bigger Income to buy bigger houses, bigger cars. Why buy a regular burger when you can make it a double, triple, or quadruple (bypass) stack of patties, bacon, and cheese.

However going bigger is rarely associated with increased quality. Often it is the first thing to be sacrificed due to the very nature of becoming bigger.

Don’t get me wrong, growth can be a good thing, and a very vital thing…..but not at the sake of quality.

Take a step back, look at your business, your career, you life, your faith….anything in your life you value, and seek ways to improve the quality, to find ways to enrich others with the talents and skills you have, search to learn new talents and skills to make you more valuable, focus on improving the experience you are able to provide to your customers, family, friends that you have right now…..and bigger will take care of itself.

Joshua Page,

Hickory Academy of Martial Arts